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Art and revolution: The Revolution of Modern Art and the Modern Art of Revolution (1967) - May 1968 - Situationist International - French Revolution - Industrial Revolution - Marxism - sexual revolution - rebellion -
Paris May 1968 revolt, photo credit unidentified
Painting by Jean-Pierre Louis Laurent Houel (1735-1813), entitled Prise de la Bastille ("The storm of the Bastille").
DefinitionA revolution is a relatively sudden and absolutely drastic change. This may be a change in the social or political institutions over a relatively short period of time, or a major change in its culture or economy. Some revolutions are led by the majority of the populace of a nation, others by a small band of revolutionaries. Compare rebellion. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Revolution [May 2005]
Artistic revolutionsThroughout history, forms of art have gone through periodic abrupt changes called artistic revolutions. Movements have come to an end to be replaced by a new movement markedly different in striking ways. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Artistic_revolution [Jul 2006]
The Revolution of Modern Art and the Modern Art of Revolution [...]
THE JUVENILE delinquents not the pop artists are the true inheritors of Dada. Instinctively grasping their exclusion from the whole of social life, they have denounced its products, ridiculed, degraded and destroyed them.
A smashed telephone, a burnt car, a terrorised cripple are the living denial of the 'values' in the name of which life is eliminated. Delinquent violence is a spontaneous overthrow of the abstract and contemplative role imposed on everyone, but the delinquents' inability to grasp any possibility of really changing things once and for all forces them, like the Dadaists, to remain purely nihilistic.
They can neither understand nor find a coherent form for the direct participation in the reality they have discovered, for the intoxication and sense of purpose they feel, for the revolutionary values they embody. The Stockholm riots, the Hell's Angels, the riots of Mods and Rockers all are the assertion of the desire to play in a situation where it is totally impossible.
All reveal quite clearly the relationship between pure destructivity and the desire to play: the destruction of the game can only be avenged by destruction. Destructivity is the only passionate use to which one can put everything that remains irremediably separated. It is the only game the nihilist can play; the bloodbath of the 120 Days of Sodom proletarianised along with the rest. --Timothy Clark, Christopher Gray, Donald Nicholson-Smith & Charles Radcliffe in The Revolution of Modern Art and the Modern Art of Revolution (1967) via http://www.notbored.org/english.html [May 2005]
Modern revolutionsThe Industrial Revolution during the nineteenth century and the growth of science and technology, medicine and health care, resulted in better contraceptives being manufactured. Advances in the manufacture and production of rubber made possible the design and production of condoms that could be used by hundreds of millions of men and women to prevent pregnancy at little cost. Advances in steel production and immunology made abortion readily available. Advances in chemistry, pharmacology, and knowledge of biology, and human physiology and all sorts of new drugs led to the discovery and perfection of oral contraceptives also known as "The Pill". New drugs like Viagra helped impotent men have an erection and increased the potency of others. Purchasing an aphrodisiac and various sex toys became "normal". Sado-masochism ("S&M") gained popularity, and "no-fault" unilateral divorce became legal and easier to obtain in many countries during the 1960s and 1970s.
All these developments took place alongside and combined with an increase in world literacy and decline in religious observances. Old values such as the notion of "be fruitful and multiply" rooted in the Bible, for example, were cast aside as people continued to feel alienated from the past and adopted the life-styles of modernizing westernized cultures. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sexual_revolution [Oct 2004]
The Revolution of Everyday Life (1967) - Raoul VaneigemOne day, when Rousseau was travelling through a crowded village, he was insulted by a yokel whose spirit delighted the crowd. Rousseau, confused and discountenanced, couldn't think of a word in reply and was forced to take to his heels amidst the jeers of the crowd. By the time he had finally regained his composure and thought of a thousand possible retorts, any one of which would have silenced the joker once and for all, he was at two hours distance from the village.
The Revolution of Everyday Life (1967) - Raoul Vaneigem [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]
Finally, back in print again, the essential handbook for all of us still alienated by modern capitalism. Together with Debord, Vaneigem was the main theorist of situationist ideas. He has the added benefit of being eminently more readable! An incredible work, more potent now than ever. "We have a world of pleasures to win, and nothing to lose but boredom.......You want to fuck around with us? Not for long."
See also: Raoul Vaneigem - everyday life - 1967
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